Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Today is National School Nurse Day which is celebrated annually on the Wednesday of National Nurses Week. According to the National Association of School Nurses, this day has been set aside to celebrate school nurses since 1972. This day is ALSO the birthday of one of Cañon City’s local nurses, Blanche Frederickson, née Sharp. In 1918, Cañon City added a school nurse to the regular staff of the schools. And who was the first school nurse added to staff? Blanche Sharp!

Blanche Sharp was born in Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada on May 8, 1892. She received her early education on Prince Edward Island. In 1915 she moved to Cañon City and worked as a private nurse in many homes in Cañon City. When the Cañon City school board established the office of school nurse, Blanche was hired and served in the capacity until 1919. She then went to Keokuk, Iowa to establish a similar service for schools there. After four years in Iowa, she returned to Cañon City and married C. Arthur Fredrickson, a long-time county judge, on February 17, 1923.

Although she retired from nursing at the time of her marriage, Blanche was still very involved in the community. She was part of the Cañon City Women’s Club and served as president for a year. She was also involved in the Minnie L. Harding Education Loan Fund and served as the treasurer. Blanche died in August 1979 and is buried in in Lakeside Cemetery.

Happy National School Nurse Day and Happy Birthday Blanche!

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